MP3 John Heasly - Make It Right
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10 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Acoustic Blues, FOLK: Folk Blues
I'm a singer/songwriter/guitar player based here in Galesburg Illinois. What follows is a brief bio of me, if you're interested.
My father was in the Air Force, which explains why I was born in Tripoli, Libya in 1957. We traveled extensively, living in California, Okinawa, Virginia and Colorado before his death in 1967. After that, my mother and I returned to her home town, Alexis, Illinois (population 900).
It was quite a culture shock for me - I had never been in a small town before and had no idea that there was a place in the world where literally everyone would know my name, who my parents were, and where I was from, as soon as I arrived at school on the first day. It took awhile, but I soon felt at home for the first time in my life and I loved the country side right for the very start. When I first started getting serious about singing and playing the guitar, about 20 years ago, I wanted to try to put some of these feeling into songs. I finally had some success writing in 1998 and put three of them on my new CD. The rest of the songs are "covers" of
old blues tunes, a Carter Family song and one, (Please Don't Talk About Me*) that I must admit, I don't really know how to categorize. I've tried to give these songs a little personal treatment - to arrange them a bit differently than I found them, but with some of them, like the John Hurt tunes, that just doesn't seem right, or necessary, or whatever.
I began "playing out" in the mid-80's, but took about 5 years off from it to work on my guitar technique and try to figure out what my niche was. During that time I worked as a movie theatre manager here in Galesburg. Now I play as much as possible and work part time in a video store. I also host a monthly folk concert series at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site. (his birthplace) We try divide the roster about evenly between local folks and acts from out of the area and have had the pleasure of be visited by Larry Penn, Mark Dvorak, Dan Zahn and Chris McNamara , and Bob and Kristy Black, among others.
When I perform solo I play mostly blues, originals and some covers of old folk and pop songs - most of the time finger picking. I also play in two folk trios - Hammer and Pick, with Jon Wagner and Jan Sams, and Mourning Star with Mike Terry and Sunshine Lawnsdale. The former is more of an "old time" band with a lot of Hammer Dulcimer. The later is a bit more modern sounding with a little more bluegrass thrown in. I do very little finger picking with the bands and use a flat pick most of the time.
My musical influences are sort of hard to describe but I'll give it a try. I've always loved the sound of an acoustic guitar and messed around with lots of stuff like Bob Dylan, The Eagles, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils etc, but never got really hooked on it until I heard Doc Watson back in the early 80's. That led me to the blues music of Mississippi John Hurt and Big Bill Broonzy and the folksy/bluegrassy stuff done by Tony Rice and Norman Blake. In about 1990 I went out to New Jersy to a weekend workshop on Country Blues with Stefan Grossman that really helped get me serious about that style. I've also always loved the music of Gordon Lightfoot. My "sound" is pretty simple and completely acoustic.
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